Issue Briefs

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Following is the summary of a document accompanying the budget request for OPM in fiscal 2023 outlining the agency’s priorities.


Over 40 years ago, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was established to serve as the chief human resources (HR) office and personnel policy manager for the Federal Government, the largest employer in the country. OPM’s mission: We are champions of talent for the Federal Government. We lead Federal agencies in workforce policies, programs, and benefits in service to the American people. OPM executes, enforces, and administers the laws governing the civil service, including related to merit-based and inclusive hiring. In addition to providing agencies with the tools they need to recruit, hire, and retain the best workforce in America, the agency also manages the healthcare and insurance programs for Federal employees and their eligible family members and administers the retirement benefits for Federal annuitants and their eligible beneficiaries.

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OPM has in recent years suffered from insufficient staffing and resources to fully execute on its critical mission. At this pivotal time in our nation, the Federal Government needs a strong, strategic HR leader to partner with agencies in supporting the Federal workforce. OPM is that leader and requires additional resources to fully accomplish its mission. To that end, OPM requests $415,578,000 in discretionary resources for FY 2023. This will support OPM’s executive leadership, administrative operations, and services to the Federal Government, its employees, retirees, and the American people. This FY 2023 budget request includes funding to implement OPM’s new FY 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. It builds on the FY 2022 budget in reasserting OPM’s policymaking leadership responsibilities, which include implementing Executive Orders and issuing other guidance to the Federal workforce on a wide variety of pressing issues, as well as carrying out other existing statutory responsibilities. It also reflects increased work OPM has taken on to support agencies in their surge hiring associated with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The alignment of this budget to the FY 2022-2026 Strategic Plan is reflected in the Performance Budget by Strategic Goal section of this document.

OPM Strategic Priorities

In FY 2023, OPM will play a pivotal role in rebuilding and empowering the Federal workforce and leading agencies in people management to confront the biggest challenges before the Federal Government. OPM has developed an ambitious new FY 2022-2026 Strategic Plan that reflects Biden-Harris Administration priorities — including implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, a focus on excellent customer service, working to make sure every Federal job is a good job, the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, and worker empowerment — incorporating OPM’s plans to address the recommendations in the 2021 Congressionally mandated report by a panel of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) entitled Elevating Human Capital: Reframing the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Leadership Imperative. OPM will also play a leading role in driving the implementation of the President’s Management Agenda. OPM’s strategic priorities are as follows:

Position the Federal Government as a model employer

As the nation’s largest employer, OPM has an opportunity to position the Federal Government as a model that sets an example for other private and public sector employers in America and around the world.

Foster diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible workplaces

As the nation grapples with the urgent call to advance equity, civil rights, racial justice, and equal opportunity across society, the Federal Government can set the standard for how an employer promotes a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible workplace. In June 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14035 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce. The Order establishes a government-wide initiative, led by OPM and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in all parts of the Federal workforce. In FY 2023, with the resources requested, in addition to its work pursuant to Executive Order 14035, OPM will also help implement Executive Order 13985 to promote equity in Government-wide service delivery by issuing policies to eliminate any potential barriers to equity in workforce functions. OPM will build diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility dashboards to identify trends across the employee lifecycle; coordinate Government-wide to facilitate recruitment and retention of workers from historically underrepresented groups; collaborate with Federal agencies to evaluate applicant flow data trends; and facilitate the closing of gender and racial pay gaps in the Federal Government. OPM also looks forward to identifying opportunities to make the Government a model employer in health equity through the administration of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and OPM’s other health insurance programs.

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Embrace the future of work

The Federal Government has an opportunity to use lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic to determine how work will be performed moving forward. It can set the standard for how workplace flexibilities can be a strategic asset to help recruit, retain, and support employees in new ways, all while finding new and innovative ways for the Government to deliver on its mission. In FY 2023, with the resources requested, OPM will continue its robust engagement as Co-Chair of the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, through which OPM helps agencies adapt their safety approaches to the latest Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance and provide agencies with new tools and resources to deliver on their mission. OPM will also work with interagency partners to develop a government-wide vision for how to leverage workplace flexibilities and innovations so that the Federal workforce continues to thrive; develop a robust set of legislative and regulatory recommendations based on the vision and strategy; and execute on the vision and strategy through supporting agencies on human capital issues to prepare them to use these workplace flexibilities and new tools effectively.

Build the skills of the Federal workforce and attract skilled talent

In a rapidly modernizing world, OPM has an opportunity to rebuild and empower the Federal workforce for success. In FY 2023, with the resources requested, OPM will deliver on the ambitious talent goals laid out in the President’s budget, support surge hiring throughout the Federal Government on high-priority hiring needs, including roles critical to implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, employ workplace flexibilities to recruit and retain talent (including military spouses, employees with disabilities, and early career employees), build updated Federal workforce competency models, develop an HR internship program, expand training offerings for human capital professionals and leaders, and address skill gaps by developing a dynamic career path tool.

Champion the Federal workforce

OPM plans to lead the effort to champion the Federal workforce, providing them the support and recognition they need and deserve. In FY 2023, with the resources requested, OPM will continue its efforts to implement Executive Order 14003, Protecting the Federal Workforce, which promotes collective bargaining, a $15 minimum wage across the Federal workforce, and working as collaborative partners with Federal labor unions. It will also support OPM’s ability to work within existing law to answer the President’s call for the Federal sector to lead by example with respect to encouraging worker organizing and collective bargaining among its workforce via the White House Task Force on Worker Empowerment and Organizing.

It will also allow OPM to carry out a campaign to share best practices for managers and supervisors to better recognize high-performing employees, better leverage data to promote employee engagement and other human capital goals, and establish an interagency working group focused on recognizing and elevating the Federal workforce. Further, OPM will lead the Administration’s refreshed vision to support operational viability for Federal Executive Boards (FEBs) through a strengthened funding and governance model with OPM administering an interagency Line of Business (LOB) and establishing a FEB Program Management Office (PMO). FEBs will focus on advancing Administration workforce priorities through implementation of the President’s Management Agenda in Federal agencies and offices, including by assisting agencies in strategic and collaborative efforts to recruit new talent.

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Transform OPM’s organizational capacity and capability

OPM has identified major organizational capacity and capability challenges that it must address to accomplish the goals in its FY 2022-2026 Strategic Plan and better serve customers. In FY 2023, with the resources requested, OPM will accelerate hiring in areas within OPM necessary to deliver on key objectives within the FY 2022-2026 Strategic Plan.

Create a human-centered customer experience for Federal job applicants, employees, retirees, and human capital professionals

OPM serves many different customers across a wide number of touchpoints, and OPM’s USAJOBS and Retirement Services are two of the Federal Government’s 35 High Impact Service Providers. In FY 2023, with the resources requested, OPM will introduce new technologies to improve retirement case management and annuity benefit calculations. These enhancements will improve our retirees’ experience by providing easy-to-use self-service channels for simple transactions and a new calculation service which can be easily updated as changes in benefits occur. OPM will also complete the implementation of a talent acquisition data lake to support improvements to the Federal hiring process and deploy a human capital dashboard to our customer agencies. These improvements will help agencies gain a better understanding of the Federal talent pool and make strong, timely hires.

Provide innovative and data-driven solutions to enable agencies to meet their missions

Consistent with the NAPA’s 2021 report recommendations, OPM is refreshing its approach to Federal human capital management by shifting from a compliance-oriented and reactive agency to one that is strategic and forward-leaning and delivers data-driven solutions that support agency mission delivery – a shift already underway. OPM is increasing its focus on innovation through more pilots and best practice sharing, on increasing the quality of and access to human capital data for agencies, and on improving service delivery to customers. In FY 2023, with the resources requested, OPM will be able to continue in this shift by producing an innovation tool kit and provide training to the OPM workforce, delegate selected transactional approval activities to agencies, modernize the electronic official personnel folder (eOPF) platform, pilot a machine learning model related to the Federal hiring process, populate a repository of best practices for agencies, develop processes to better leverage evidence to inform policy development and measure outcomes or impact of OPM policy, and determine the feasibility of eliminating or revising regulations, guidance or policy to reduce the burden on agencies.

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